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Beatrice Mandelman and Louis Ribak Pictorial Collection

Identifier: PICT-000-1002

Scope and Content Note

The collection contains Beatrice Mandelman and Louis Ribak's photos of family, friends, artwork, opening events, social functions, travel, and landscapes related to their lives as artists. The collection includes mostly photos, some color slides that Ribak took in the 60s and 70s with his written identifications on the back, and large portraits of Mandelman and Ribak in mat frames. The collection has 6 series that reflect Mandelman and Ribak's emphasis on portraits, trips and travel, landscape and events, other individuals in their artistic circles, and their daily living in Taos. The photo sizes are listed in inches and if the photographer is known it is noted in the folder description. Some of the photos have identifications that can be found on the back of the images and if the content was found in manuscript notes or supporting documents it was included in the folder description.

Series 1: Portraits and Events. These folders contain photos of Mandelman and Ribak working, in their studios, at art openings, events, and social functions. The photos are set up in a chronological order in this series.

Series 2: Trips and Travel. These folders have photos directly tied to trips that Mandelman and Ribak took together and separately. Many of the photos are directly linked to their artwork and were taken by Ribak in Mexico and other countries that Mandelman and Ribak visited during their lives. The photos are in alphabetical order by country.

Series 3: Identified Locations. These folders consist of landscapes and places that were significant to Mandelman and Ribak. This series is set up in the three sections of home and studio, southwestern, and urban landscapes.

Series 4: Identified People. These photos include portraits of individuals that Mandelman and Ribak knew from their artistic work and milieu. The folders are arranged in alphabetical order by last name of the subject.

Series 5: Reproductions of Artwork. These folders contain various forms of photographic reproductions of Mandelman and Ribak's artwork. The series is arranged in chronological order.

Series 6: Print Reproduction and Posters. This series includes oversized material consisting of several posters and one Ribak print.

Unprocessed digital material is found on an unprocessed harddrive, with unprocessed PICT collections.


  • 1900-1998

Access Restrictions

The collection is open for research.

Copy Restrictions

Duplication of print and photographic material is allowed for research purposes. User is responsible for copyright compliance. For more information see the Photographs and Images Research Guide and contact the Pictorial Archivist.

Biographical Note

Beatrice Mandelman (1912-1998) and Louis Ribak (1902-1979) moved to Taos, New Mexico in the 1940s and were part of a group of artists referred to as the Taos Moderns. Mandelman was born on December 31, 1912 in Newark, New Jersey. In the 1930s, she attended Rutgers University, the Newark School of Fine and Industrial Art and the Art Students League in New York City. From 1935 to 1942, Mandelman worked as a muralist and printmaker for the Works Progress Administration. By 1941, Mandelman’s works were in included in exhibitions at the Chicago Art Institute, the Museum of Modern Art and the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. Louis Ribak was born in Lithuania in 1902. At the age of 10, he immigrated with his family to New York City. In 1922, Ribak attended the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts and he studied with John Sloan at the Art Students League in 1923 and at the Educational Alliance in 1924. In the early 1930s, Ribak had several solo exhibitions at the A.C.A. Gallery in New York. In 1933, Ribak assisted Diego Rivera on the mural for the lobby of the Rockefeller Center; and in 1935, he worked for the Works Progress Administration as a muralist.

Mandelman and Ribak met at a dance sponsored by the Artists Union, and in 1942 they married. That same year, Ribak was drafted for military service, but honorably discharged two years later due to asthma. In 1944, the couple traveled west to visit Ribak’s mentor and teacher, John Sloan in Santa Fe. They decided to settle in Taos. In the 1940s, Taos was a well-known art community, but there were no galleries exhibiting modern art. In 1947, Mandelman and Ribak founded the Taos Valley Art School where they taught until it closed in 1953. Their home served as a gathering place for an informal group of artists who began calling themselves the Taos Moderns, including Edward Corbett, Agnes Martin, Oli Sihvonen, Clay Spohn and Andrew Dashburg. In the 1950s, Mandelman, Ribak, and other local artists organized two artist cooperative galleries, The Ruins Gallery and the Taos Artists’ Association which ran the Stables Gallery. Upon Mandelman’s death in 1998, the Mandelman-Ribak Foundation was established with the mission to preserve and perpetuate the artistic legacies of these two influential artists and support the work of future generations in the University of New Mexico’s art programs, museums and libraries.


1526 items (7 boxes, 1 oversize folder) : 1200 photographic black and white and color prints, 300 color slides, 25 transparencies; 1 hard drive

Language of Materials



This collection includes photographs, slides, posters and other visual material related to Beatrice Mandelman and Louis Ribak's professional artistic work, along with family, friends, other Taos artists, and travel images.

Physical Location

B2. Collection shelved by Pictorial Number; oversize material filed in Big Box location and in Large Drawers; unprodessed hard drive located in Pict Unprocessed shelves.

Related Material

Beatrice Mandelman and Louis Ribak Manuscript Collection , Center for Southwest Research, University Libraries, University of New Mexico.

Separated Material

Material was separated from the Beatrice Mandelman and Louis Ribak Collection, MSS 1002. Some digital material, including images, are found on an unprocessed HardDrive.
Finding Aid of the Beatrice Mandelman and Louis Ribak Pictorial Collection, 1900-1998
Barbara Korbal
© 2019
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding aid is in English

Revision Statements

  • Monday, 20210524: Attribute normal is missing or blank.

Repository Details

Part of the UNM Center for Southwest Research & Special Collections Repository

University of New Mexico Center for Southwest Research & Special Collections
University Libraries, MSC05 3020
1 University of New Mexico
Albuquerque NM 87131